How to get out of contract with Publish America

This is a discussion on How to get out of contract with Publish America within the Copyright, Trademark, Patent forum, part of the INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY & INTERNET LAW category; This is the complaint I filed with the Better Business Bureau on 5/21/2009. They closed the case because they said ...

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Old Jul 1st, 2009, 02:21 PM   #1
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Default How to get out of contract with Publish America

This is the complaint I filed with the Better Business Bureau on 5/21/2009. They closed the case because they said they didn't intervene on behalf of "businesses". When I explained I am not a business, they said because I have a book to sell, I am considered a business.
Publish America is periodically requesting submission of the final draft of the book and I have repeatedly told them I just want out of the contract. I am among hundreds maybe thousands of other gullible authors that Publish America has defrauded. They do not tell you up front that they will publish books only that you and your family and friends will buy.

This is the BBB complaint:
After signing a contract with PublishAmerica on March 9, 2009, I discovered: 1.)My book WILL NOT be put on bookstore shelves. 2.)My book WILL BE overpriced higher than books of similiar size. 3.)PublishAmerica DOESN'T SCREEN SUBMISSIONS. 4.)My book WILL NOT be edited for content,in fact, PublishAmerica's editing process will introduce 'new' errors in my book. 5.)Bookstores will have to pay up front for my book. 6.)PublishAmerica DOES NOT put out a catalog. 7.)PublishAmerica charges bookstores MORE than trade publishers.

PublishAmerica has only a rough draft of my book,"Silent Retribution." Before my book is processed any further, I respectfully request that PublishAmerica declare the contract signed by them on February 26, 2009, and then signed by me on March 9, 2009, be declared null and void and cancelled, releasing me from any and all obligations stated in said contract.

How do I get out of the contract and what can I do if a legitimate publisher wants to publish the book as a result of my webpage exposure? Art's Page
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Old Jul 1st, 2009, 05:29 PM   #2
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Default Re: How to get out of contract with Publish America

Sorry for your circumstances. I wish I had better news to share, but I would not expect this company to voluntarily let you off the hook since you have signed a contract. Truthfully, the only hope for getting some measure of relief here will be to retain legal counsel. If you go to their main page, I think WLD will have lawyers in your area and could give you some referral information. A strongly-worded letter may do the trick, or litigation may have to be filed, but either way in my experience this sort of company simply will not take you seriously if you are not represented. Hope things work out for you. AJJ
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Old Nov 11th, 2009, 07:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: How to get out of contract with Publish America

11/10/2009

Hi! We are dealing with a similar issue. We were misled by Publish America to believ that they are a "traditional" publisher. We signed the contract before the manuscript was finished, so they actually never accepted the final manuscript. As a matter of fact the book was never finished because we lost it due to a computer virus. We wrote to Publish America and asked them to cancell the contract. Publish America refuses to cancell the contract by stating that there is no sufficient reason to do so. The fact that we do not have the manuscript anymore is not enough for them. However, they are trying to extort money from us by suggesting that we have to pay a "damage" fee of $300.00. This company never did anything for us, we never even received the fabled dollar. They are like a spider that lurks the victim into its web and never let go. Once you sign the contract with them, you are ensnared into their trap. Unfortunately, we were not aware of the existence of such scam companies like Publish America and signed the contract without research. Now they are tying to take advange of us.
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Old Dec 26th, 2009, 09:21 PM   #4
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Angry Re: How to get out of contract with Publish America

PublishAmerica has been robbing people blind for years. It is a shame that they have crushed the dreams of so many authors and are still getting away with giving false hope and promises. Recently, I was in contact with an author that regretably signed a contract with PublishAmerica. At the time the contract was breeched at the very beginning. Not only was the author extremely disappointed and disillioushed by PublishAmerica he has since given up on his dream. I had the opportunity to read his work and was amazed by the errors in the novel the author had published. The cover was also something that he wanted to change but refused. He still recieves countless emails weekly on where the book is going. Of course he has to purchase his own book for them to "donate" a copy to a variety of channels. The question he had was if he purchases the so called number of books from PublishAmerica will his book end up on Oprah Winfrey's desk.
Of course the book won't be send to Oprah Winfrey, this is just another scam for the author to purchase copies of his own books. Not only was he disappointed in his work, when he went to Indigo and Coles to have a book signing for them, they flat out turned him down when he mentioned it was published by PublishAmerica. Not only have PublishAmerica stolen his work they have destroyed his name in the publishing world. Bookstores will not purchase any copies of the book for singing purposes as they are over priced...Not only that they are not returnable.
PublishAmerica and vanity publishers in general should be legally taken to the cleaners and shut down once and for all. If all the authors that had dreams destroyed by PublishAmerica banned together it would make it hard for them to keep destroying promising authors dreams. Not that every book that PublishAmerica publish are a good read, that is the not the case. However, they should not be making promises to author's and breaching contracts with out any intervention or justice by the legal system.
This company has no right to be in business and if the better business bureau and other agencies do not recognize this as well, it tells you how a company like Publishamerica stays in business.
Sincerely
People against scams and scammers.
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Old Jan 12th, 2010, 03:44 PM   #5
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Lightbulb Re: How to get out of contract with Publish America

There are so many blogs and websites dedicated to exposing PublishAmerica as a scam, hopefully this and all the efforts of others will keep other potential authors from losing their work.
I too lost my book to them. Unless the courts or a Higher Power intervenes, three years of efforts are lost.

My advice to potential authors is to google "PublishAmerica scams" and read the Hundreds of posts explaining what has happened to their works.
Condensed: Here are The Reasons We Don't Recommend PublishAmerica - Absolute Write Water Cooler

If you can't afford a lawyer to kill your contract, go here for some help:
Administrative Fee Waivers and Pro Bono Arbitrators Services.htm

The truth is out there and my heart goes out to all those who signed on the dotted line.

Good luck and God bless.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2010, 02:05 AM   #6
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Default Re: How to get out of contract with Publish America

There are more complaints against Publish America online than one can dream of and yet they still go on with their dirty business unperturbed and unpunished .It reminds me of a proverb that says:”Do not fear a donkey that shows his teeth and don’t bite” But we are not donkeys and we can surely bite when necessary.
My three years work book has been ruined by the so called Publish America’s “old fashion way”. by “forgetting” to produce the pictures that go with it .Further more I discovered that my book is offered at Amazon for $ 16,00 while it is offered for $24,99 on their online gallery!! They offered me to buy the book from them with 50% discount! so they can make a donation on my behalf to the earthquake victims in Haiti! What a dirty joke!

What am I going to do about it? I am going to sue them and claim damage liability for the huge work I invested and they have spoiled .
It will be up to the judge to arbitrate .I am aware that it is going to cost money but I regard this as an aggression and it is my duty to fight back.
I would also like to lay the foundations of an association for the defense of the Publish America’s victims where anyone can find support .Here is my email marcel.hart@orange.fr Please feel free to write and join
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Old May 25th, 2010, 04:36 PM   #7
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Default Re: How to get out of contract with Publish America

I've been ripped off by these scumbags too. I'm a lawyer. I'm thinking that if you really want out of your contract then simply change the title of your book and begin seeking out publishers and agent again. I got published by PA because they accepted electronic submissions

PA doesn't care. They were soliciting authors to get seen at the BookExpo America in order that these authors of theirs might get picked up by real publishers and agents. That is an admission by these dogs that they are a useless vanity press. Good luck.
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Old Jun 13th, 2010, 10:17 AM   #8
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Default Re: How to get out of contract with Publish America

Thank you so much. My book I wrote is really God's book and I know with Him on my side, I was meant to read your advice. Thanks so much and GOD BLESS YOU! And all of us need to NEVER STOP THE FIGHT against people trying to steal dreams!
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Old Jul 7th, 2010, 12:53 AM   #9
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Default Re: How to get out of contract with Publish America

Yep, PA took my manuscript, butchered it with their editing machine, called it a book and then slapped a $25.00 fee on it. I guess if you can read words backwards, upside down or read what appears to be in chinese, then the book may not be too bad. Don't I feel like the ass. Then they try and get me to buy my butchered book! What's worse is, that I now find out it made it to Amazon.com!! Now Everyone will know I was the sucker that published a book through PA. I'm sure the laughter will raise the ceiling by anyone who reads it. However, I seriously doubt that anyone would when they realize they have to pay $25.00. for the book.

I don't want to re-write the book but I do like the lawyer's suggestion above about re-naming the book and sending it through other publishers. My problem is this: I'm not so worried about PA suing me for doing that if they ever find out - but what if the "New" Publisher finds out that PA has the same book under another name? Will I then be sued by PA and the new Publisher - or what?

Signed: Praying everyday that Publish America will go out of business releasing us all from our contract.
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Old Jul 27th, 2010, 12:20 PM   #10
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Default Re: How to get out of contract with Publish America

This is an interesting situation. So far, working with PA has not been bad, maybe I am one of the fortunate. The artwork was fantastic, the speedy nature of the formatting (granted, only 200 pages) and the constant communication has always been good. That's the upside.

Now the downside.

Not knowing how long it really takes to print, it's been about two weeks and am still waiting on the first copy. It's really no biggie--

The big questions--will Oprah ever see it? Will it ever hit other store's websites? You know what, I guess I don't really care. As a first project, I find it a personal goal--not financial. Do I expect to get rich? Who cares. Will I walk away with no sort of sales? That would suck, but on the flip side, it only motivates to write more.

We all have to start small in order to get noticed. I understand all complaints here on this site--believe me. I am as skeptical as it gets and it took some time for me to sign the line due to the fact that I had other publishers and agents knocking. The reason I went with PA is that I don't have to give them $1200 to start what other people were charging for. I would rather make the small sacrifice to get noticed and out there than to pay that kind of money and still wonder. No matter how you do it, the gamble is the same. The outcome is different, but the same things are on the line--your name and your reputation as a writer.

For those of you that stated PA created more errors than was there previous, I apologize. It is unfair that would happen to anyone's work. That would drive me to hysteria.

Hang in there and I pray for all authors to be successful in their ventures. If one publisher is bad, go with a different one. Be encouraged and learn from your mistakes.

O.F. Marz
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